I love my bestie M, especially her fondness for luxury hotels and restaurants. Thanks to her enthusiasm for fine dining, we have now dined at The Lanesborough, Flemings and now The Dorchester. May this tradition long continue.
First impressions of The Grill were pretty impressive, right from the entrance lobby where an extravagant bouquet of blooms welcomed you into the glamorous foyer.
Through the double doors, we entered a glitzy and lavishly decorated room, now onto its third, tasteful makeover since starting in the 1930s. The look was very rich and extravagant with luxurious detailing, gold accents, gleaming backlit bar, illuminated ceiling panels and shimmering chandeliers.
As if to mirror the glittering atmosphere, we kicked things off in a sparkly fashion with a glass of Laurent Perrier each as part of the Grill’s Set Menu (£39 for three courses including a glass of Champagne).
M, being a vegetarian, was not overly excited with the range of vegetarian choices available on the menu. She eventually settled for the Mixed Salad, Avocado & Peppers. However, the salad, with its combination of fresh raspberries, creamy avocado and a tumble of snappy leaves, was a superb dish. The sharp dressing was exactly the kind of big, bold flavour bursts that she was looking for, so in the end she was won over by the taste and presentation of her starter.
I was very happy with my choice of the Grilled Duck Foie Gras, Sweet Corn and Balsamic which was buttery and luxurious. The little medallion of corn mousse was also a revelation and added a nice touch to the whole assemblage.
So, a fairly solid start but now it was time for the main event. M chose the Herb Crusted Hake, Courgette and Polenta. A simple yet well-executed dish with top notch ingredients and refined, classical flavours. M was pretty happy with her plate.
I went for the Corn-fed Chicken on the Rotisserie, Seasonal Vegetables. A silver trolley suddenly appeared in front of me and the waitress lifted the cloche to reveal my rotisserie chicken. At first, I was a bit alarmed to look at a whole bird splayed on the table, thinking I had to devour the whole thing. Thankfully, they didn’t expect me to and deftly carved me a couple of slices on a plate alongside some seasonal vegetables. Everything about the dish was on point: succulent chicken, tender root vegetables and a glistening pool of gravy – all in all, a rather refined version of a roast chicken dinner.
After tasting two glorious courses, we were quite full but still had a third course to go. After a lot of debate on whether to skip dessert or not (mostly from my side), M decided on the Eton Mess, while I went for a lighter pudding of a Selection of Sorbet – Raspberry, Strawberry and Chocolate
The sorbet, true to form, was light and refreshing and a wonderful palate cleanser after a heavy first and second course.
However, it was the decadent Eton Mess that was the star dessert here. It looked so pretty and perfect that it should have been called Eton (non) Mess. It had fresh strawberries, flecked with gold leaf and a perfectly formed meringue. I was particularly impressed with the speed in which M smashed and devoured her dessert.
Staff were charming and impeccably groomed, and although sometimes hard to attract, were welcoming and down-to-earth.
Three courses down and we were pretty smug with our choice of venue for our May catch up. It was high-quality cooking, although we would have preferred some more exciting choices on the set menu. However, there was some sophisticated upscale comfort food and elevated cooking. As far as the set menu goes, the generous portions mean that it will appeal to those who like their value for money.
Location : The Grill at The Dorchester, Park Lane, London W1K 1QA
More information can be found here.
N.B. Our set menu was booked via Bookatable. We reviewed the set menu anonymously as paying customers. All photos taken by M & I.